MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The regular season belongs to Spring Valley; the playoffs are owned by Martinsburg.
Twice beaten by the Timberwolves during a pair of regular-season contests in the past two seasons, the Bulldogs accomplished what they had in five previous meetings: defeat Spring Valley in the playoffs.
Martinsburg’s 35-6 victory Friday was the Bulldogs’ six playoff win over the Timberwolves.
Martinsburg received three touchdown runs by Murphy Clement, who briefly left the game in the first half, that sends the eight-time state Class AAA champions to the semifinals next week.
The second-seeded Bulldogs will play either No. 6 Jefferson or third-seeded Bridgeport in a third playoff home game at Cobourn Field at Walker Stadium. The Cougars and Bridgeport play Saturday afternoon.
“Our guys played well for 19 1/2 quarters,” Martinsburg coach Britt Sherman said. “We ran out of steam (the last game with Spring Valley).
“We were able get a good seed, which is really big.”
The Bulldogs (11-1) scored on their opening possession, getting a 3-yard touchdown run from Clement.
A 42-yard pass from Ezra Bagent to Hudson Clement on the first play from scrimmage helped set the tone for the drive.
After stopping Spring Valley inches short on fourth down at the Martinsburg 33-yard line, the Bulldogs put together its second scoring drive in two possessions.
A pass interference call aided Martinsburg’s drive, which culminated in an 11-yard TD run by Murphy Clement.
Spring Valley failed to convert four fourth-down situations, including a fourth-and-goal at the Martinsburg 1-yard line on the ensuing drive.
“Our defense played lights-out,” Sherman said. “They had a chip on their shoulder from not playing well the first time (three weeks ago).
“They came out and played tough.”
After turning away the Timberwolves at the 1, Martinsburg went on a 99-yard drive to score its third touchdown, making the score 21-0 with 8:59 left in the third quarter.
During the drive, Bagent hooked up with Hudson Clement for a 32-yard gain and completed a 21-yard pass to Jacob Barrick. Murphy Clement, suddenly reinserted into the lineup, ran 13 yards for a touchdown.
Spring Valley moved into Martinsburg territory again on the next drive but turned the ball over on downs once more. An interception thrown by Bagent as a receiver cut in and the pass was thrown to the outside gave the ball back to Spring Valley.
Spring Valley had a first-and-goal at the Martinsburg 9, but the Timberwolves could not convert even as the Bulldogs were called for pass interference on a fourth down.
A play before, Hudson Clement knocked a pass away from tight end Corbin Page, and then Murphy Clement intercepted a pass to end the drive.
The Bulldogs advanced the length of the field again, but a 40-yard field goal as time expired fell just short.
Martinsburg extended its lead to 28-0 on its first possession of the second half after Hudson Clement intercepted a pass.
Bagent threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Xavian Kendall.
Page caught a 4-yard pass from Dalton Fouch to end the shutout to start the fourth quarter.
But Bagent countered with a 5-yard touchdown run, making it 35-6 with 8:08 to play.
That was the last of the scoring.
Spring Valley’s season ended at 9-3.